METS CLEANED HOUSE: WHEN WILL PHILS OWNER MIDDLETON FOLLOW?

By Sam Bush

The New York Mets may not be the worst franchise in baseball, but they are surely the sorriest.

And for years they also had the most calcified ownership, which seemed to make decisions by what goofball talk radio hosts dictated.

But no more.

As the presumptive new owner of the Mets last week, Steven A. Cohen spent days answering fans’ questions on Twitter. The Mets’ loyalists, he wrote, are the “most knowledgeable fans around” — and Cohen has always been one of them.

Yesterday, when he closed on a record $2.475 billion purchase of his favorite team, Cohen started his tenure with precisely the kind of move a frustrated Mets fan would make, clearing out a front office that had failed to take the Mets back to the postseason. Cohen fired five members of the baseball operations staff, including General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen, three assistants and the player development director, Jared Banner.

Sandy Alderson, the Mets’ former general manager and new team president, will hire a fresh front-office team supported by not just Cohen’s billions, but also his drive. At a time when other owners will show caution after a season without ticket sales, the Mets are positioned to spend the way they rarely did after the Bernard L. Madoff scandal ravaged the Wilpon family finances.

Memo to Phillies owner John Middleton:

When are you going to clean house the way Cohen has and hire a general manager and president to replace the woeful Matt Klentak and Lee MacPhail?

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